CPSC Report Finds More Than 150K ER Visits Last Year were Linked to Holiday Toys
With hundreds of thousands of injuries caused by holiday-related accidents each year, ranging from unsafe toys to burns from cooking mishaps, federal safety regulators have issued a series of recommendations to help families avoid unsafe holiday practices.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published the results of its annual Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Report on November 21, detailing hundreds of thousands of accidents and injuries experienced last year due to holiday mishaps.
Toys are the Most Common Cause of Holiday Injuries
More than 152,000 children were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. in 2021 for toy-related injuries, most of those injuries occurring to children younger than 15 years old. According to the report, most incidents are linked to unsafe toys, with scooters being linked to the most injuries for children in that age group.
Injuries also included choking on small toy parts and suffocating on soft toys in unsafe sleep environments. Other injuries also involved lacerations, contusions, and abrasions to the child’s face and head.
The CPSC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 2 million dangerous or illegal toys and children’s products in 2022. Jointly the two agencies have stopped more than 6 million unsafe toys from entering the US over the past five years.
Holiday Fires and Other Causes of Injuries
In tandem with the toy report, the CPSC also detailed accidents and injuries caused by other holiday-related activities.
Holiday cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires. There are more than 360,000 home fires per year, nearly half from cooking incidents, causing 2,400 deaths and leading to nearly 11,000 injuries.
Since 2000, 217 burn incidents involving turkey fryers were reported to the CPSC which led to 83 injuries and $9.5 million in property loss.
Holiday decorating and Christmas trees also account for a significant number of fires and injuries.
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Holiday Safety Recommendations
Because of the many incidents, accidents, and fires occurring each year during the holidays, the CPSC warns consumers to keep safety a top concern when celebrating this year, purchasing toys, decorating their homes, and cooking food for celebrations.
Toy safety tips:
- Follow the age guidance and safety information on toy packaging
- Get safety gear like helmets for scooters and other riding toys
- Keep toys with small parts away from children younger than 3 years old
- After opening toys immediately discard plastic wrappings and other packaging material
Christmas tree tips to avoid fires:
- Make sure live Christmas trees have plenty of water. Look for a fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree
- Place burning candles away from flammable items and blow them out before leaving the room
- Never string together more than three sets of incandescent lights and never overload electrical outlets
Cooking safety tips:
- Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove or in the oven
- Only fry a turkey outside or away from the home
- Never use turkey fryers in the garage or on the porch
“Protecting children from hazardous toys and other products is core to CPSC’s mission,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. “We are committed to doing our part to ensure, through vigorous inspections and enforcement, that hazardous products don’t make it to store shelves or consumers’ homes; but we also want to arm families with important safety information so they can shop safely for toys and gifts and avoid trips to the emergency department during the holidays.”
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